Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Passport to Manhood

Jamar Giddings is second from right.

Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club's special program popular

What does "manhood" mean to today's youth? For many boys in West Tulsa, it means toying with dropping out of school early, seeking friendship and leadership in gangs, and experimenting with drugs.

But one man is setting a different example. West Tulsa Boys & Girls Club director, Jamar Giddings, is a mentor and friend to many young men, welcoming them into his Club, but also his home.
For the past several years, Jamar (who we last saw at the Youth of the Year awards banquet with the 2013 Youth of the Year Anthony Wilson) has lead a program called "Passport to Manhood" and supplemented the lessons of the program with lots of one-on-one time, modeling fatherhood and manhood at his home and with his church family.

Passport to Manhood teaches a variety of basic life skills and lessons cover topics like:
  • banking and checking/savings accounts
  • hygiene
  • job skills/resume
  • self-esteem
  • etiquette
  • relationships/girls/respect, etc.

Caleb Green
The Boys & Girls Club curriculum can be tailored to a specific age group audience, which is generally either Elementary/Middle School (ages 8-12) or Middle/High School (13-18).

In addition to 'lessons' and one-on-one time, Jamar has been good to engage community members to come speak to the Passport guys. He's drawn from a variety of professions, from international sports professionals like Kelvin Sangel and Caleb Green, to Club alumni who are lawyers and bankers, like Lee Jones, formerly with BOK.
Jamar Giddings playing basketball.

Unfortunately, the curriculum that West Mabee has to work with is outdated (last purchased in 1999) and with new curriculum available, Jamar is hoping to relaunch the Passport to Manhood program and reach more boys than ever before. 

We hope to help him; just last week, I applied for a Passport to Manhood grant for all new curriculum and a program assistant. We won't hear back on the application for a few months, but we are moving forward with a basketball tournament with players from ORU to get kids over to the Club, and hopefully, get them on the right track to true manhood.


If you would like to support Jamar's efforts to teach young men the art of being a man, you can call The Salvation Army Tulsa Area Command at 918-587-7801 to make a donation or donate online at: http://salarmytulsa.org/Home.

If you would be interested in speaking to a Passport to Manhood group on your area of expertise, call us! We would love to put you in touch with Jamar.

Please share this post with friends or family who may be interested in the program or in supporting the program!



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